Kenya – Nyumbani


The Children of God Relief Institute – Nyumbani (“home” in Swahili) was set up in the early nineties by the late Angelo D’Agostino SJ (1925-2006). Nyumbani started out as Kenya’s first hospice for orphans with AIDS, a hospice that eventually became a home thanks to access to antiretroviral medication (ARVs) and proper nutrition.

An American Jesuit and surgeon who was a missionary in Kenya, Fr Angelo spent the last 14 years of his life championing the cause of AIDS orphans and setting up pioneer projects to meet their needs.

The project swiftly expanded to include a state-of-the art laboratory, a community-based care programme called Lea Toto (raise the child in Swahili) for HIV-positive orphans in slums around Nairobi, and later Nyumbani village in eastern Kenya, to promote greater self-sufficiency among orphans and their elderly guardians. The target in Nyumbani village is to provide a home for 100 families: 1,000 children and 100 of their grandparents. Already 82 houses have been built and the rest are urgently needed.

Fr D’Agostino was a passionate advocate for the rights of those he served. He denounced the lack of availability of ARVs in Africa and successfully took the Kenyan government to court for banning HIV-positive children from state primary schools. Following in his footsteps, Nyumbani advocates for necessary third-line ARVs for the children in its care.

Director: Sr Mary Owens IBVM

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Banner photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi